When was the last time you did something for the first time? There are a lot of activities in Kampala city without cost and without necessarily having to be a tourist or a foreigner. Things we walk by and don’t notice every day. Kampala is filled with a number of sculptures that everyone should take some time to admire.
Depending on where you live, or where you have traveled in Kampala, you have seen at least one sculpture/statue and did not know what it’s called, what it stands for, how it was made or even how long it has been there. To get you started a few are detailed here.
David Kigozi a distinguished Ugandan sculptor and artist says, “There are two principles that govern sculpting, addition and subtraction depending on the material a sculptor is using” he says. “Subtraction applies to sculptures curved out of wood or stone whereas addition applies to sculptures made out of either cement or metal. Although for instances where a malleable substance or material is used for example, clay the two principles either combine or don’t apply at all”
The Independence Monument, by Kenyan sculptor Gregory Maloba, is located below Sheraton Hotel on Speke Road. It is a statue of a man wrapped with a ribbon and holding out a child in the air which figuratively shows the birth of the nation. The nation and child being Uganda; the ribbon depicts the unwrapping and celebration of the achievement; and the man holding the child in the air depicts Uganda’s colonial masters, the British. The sculpture is made out of concrete plus cement and has been there for almost 50 years since it was unveiled in 1962.
Then, there is “The Stride”, a 19-foot high family group statue that stands at the parliamentary gardens (also known as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) – Engineers Park) in commemoration of Uganda hosting CHOGM 2007. It is made out of pure copper and was sculpted by the KANN artists group consisting of five principle sculptors: George Kyeyune, Maria Naita, David Kigozi, Henry Ssegamwenge and Jude Kateete.
The statue is made up of a family with three striding human figures swathed in draperies marching forward under the banner of the flag while the child touched by the mother is walking securely in the midst holding onto her with the left hand and carrying a book close to the body in its right hand.
At the Kibuye roundabout is the Crested Crane statue. Unveiled in 2011, by the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Council Authority Jennifer Musisi, it was based on Uganda’s national emblem and coat of arms. It is metallic and is strategically placed (on a highway leading to and from Entebbe International Airport) welcoming visitors and residents as the crested crane is the official bird of Uganda. The crane represents Uganda’s fauna but it also friendly, gentle and peace loving which are also traits of the Ugandan people.
On the roundabout joining Speke Road with Nile Avenue (next to Grand Imperial Hotel), there is a statue that depicts Kabaka Sir Edward Muteesa II erected on a block tower and draped in military garb.. Sponsored by Gordon Wavamunno, this statue figuratively shows Uganda’s first president in 1962 after the country had attained Independence. Sir Edward Muteesa II was an influential figure in the independence struggle and ending the colonial era.
These are a few of the numerous sculptures in Kampala and since we can’t certainly cover all the sculptures in and around Kampala city in detail, here is a list of others that you can check out.
- Statue of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II at Bulange Palace (Mengo)
- Statue of Albert Cook at Mengo Hospital
- Statue of Kawalya Kaggwa at Amber House
- Statue of Mutaasa Adam on the entrance of Mutaasa Kafeero Mall on Luwum Street
- Statues of dinosaurs at Garden City (Yusuf Lule Road)
- Statues of percussion performers at Sheraton Hotel Gardens
- Statue of John the Baptist at the entrance of Christ the King Church (Colville Street).